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Parking Enforcement Not Leading by Example

by Prince Of Petworth — December 20, 2012 at 1:30 pm 42 Comments

Dear PoPville,

I thought this might be worth sharing, especially since it’s more than a one-time thing. On my way to work this morning, I took a car2go to the dry cleaner across from Giant on Park Rd NW. Before I could pull into the lot, a Parking Enforcement vehicle blocked the driveway. She waved me around so I could squeeze behind her vehicle and into the lot. She got out of her car, chatted briefly with a police officer, then went into the grocery store. As I was leaving, an employee of Q&Q Cleaners and I were standing outside and staring in disbelief at this vehicle whose driver so rudely blocked her driveway. The police officer yelled from across the street that she would be right back.

I know that I’m not allowed to do that, even if I’m going to be “right back”, so why should it be acceptable for a parking enforcement? I’ve seen enforcement do this before, in front of the same grocery store, except in that instance, the driver parked his car in the traffic lane, then entered the grocery store.

There are lots of legal parking spaces in DC. If your job is to enforce parking, you should limit yourself to those legal spaces when popping into the grocery store.

  • If you see this so often, then next time take a picture of the front/rear of the government car, including a clear shot of the license plate. Also try to take a picture of the officer walking away (but your probably shouldn’t confront him/her). Then post the pictures and send a copy to Chief Lanier or someone. That should raise a ruckus!!

    • Anony


    • Anonymous

      Maybe you can tell the license plate from this photo zoomed in?!?

    • dcd

      +1, and also get the number of the police car. Send that to Chief Lanier, along with the date and time, so she can ID the cop. Send the picture of the parking enforcement wagon to whomever at DPW is responsible.

      I’ll bet you a dollar that nothing ever will happen, but whatever. It’s annoying.

    • saf

      Parking enforcement is DPW, not MPD.

  • Anony

    Absolute joke! Above the law I guess

  • anon

    I don’t think Parking Enforcement is part of MPD — I believe it’s part of DPW (the Department of Public Works).

    This is definitely outrageous behavior on the part of the parking enforcement official — sounds like she was abusing her government-car privileges to run a personal errand.

  • The condition of the “ticket printers” around town is horrid. A lot of them and meters as well don’t work, there used to be a rule that if the meter doesn’t work you can park free, this was taken away. Parking in DC is more complex than New York, signs are missing, and somehow Zip Car has managed to steal government funded parking spaces.

    At a point this year, I got 2 tickets for 100$ for parking at my Girlfriend’s apartment overnight (In a legal space) when there’s no signs to indicate that overnight “zone” parking was enforced. All of this highlights the abuse of power that makes parking meter agent behavior seem like small change to me…

    • Zipcar pays DC for any parking spaces that they use. Maybe you should slow down the accusations.

      • anon

        This is the case now, but when Zipcar first came to D.C., the city gave them parking spots either for free or for a nominal amount (I can’t remember which).

        • For the first 3 or 4 years not only was their parking free, but ZipCar had a city-enforced monopoly on car sharing. Ridiculous.

    • jen

      you would have gotten a prior warning. they give you a warning ticket first for the overnight parking, and then after that they start in with the $100 ones. and no enforcement signs are posted because it’s a city-wide rule that applies everywhere.

      not that i agree with this rule, OR the lack of signage.

      • Agreed, I did get warnings, though because I didn’t park there every night it wouldn’t have been an issue, but I got 2 x 100$ tickets in 2 weeks and if I park in that zone any more will likely keep getting them. the fine is excessive for someone who regularly visits friends, and it’s highly opportunistic for ticketing agents to give these types of tickets whenever they observe a car in the same neighborhood arbitrarily. I make more than $100 a day at work, which I’d lose if I take off the day from work to contest the ticket (because we all know mail adjudication is B.S.) I can’t contest the ticket reasonably because it would cost me more than the tickets do.

        • Don’t give up on mail adjudication. I’ve won. I’m not telling you it’s awesome, just that if your other options are take a day off work or eat it it’s worth a shot.

        • Anonymous

          I’ve won mail adjudication twice and in-person adjudication once. Also, if you go in person to adjudicate the ROSA tickets (the overnight parking ones), you can also bring your proof of MD or VA (or other out of state) residency and they will exempt you from future tickets parked overnight in zoned parking. There shouldn’t be a reason you’re getting tickets if your car is registered in another DC zone, unless you’re in one of those “Zone 6 Residents ONLY” spots. Regular zoned parking is not enforced overnight unless you’ve got out of state plates and are seen on the same block multiple times.

          • Thanks,

            I’ll try to see how mail adjudication can work!

        • dcd

          Wait – you got warnings (multiple?!?!), understood them, parked there anyway, got not one but TWO tickets, and it’s somehow unfair because, “there’s no signs to indicate that overnight “zone” parking was enforced.” Perhaps the warnings should have given you an indication that you shouldn’t park there? You know, what’s that word . . . oh yeah, a WARNING that you might get a ticket? I’m having a tough time mustering up sympathy here . . .

    • Jack5, I thought it was your girlfriend (from MD or VA?) who was getting ROSA violation tickets for parking in your neighborhood. So you were getting tickets when staying at her place too?? Or was this a different, D.C.-based girlfriend?

  • Anonymous

    make a citizens arrest. always works.

    • park view pirate

      Yes, I agree…citizen’s arrest her arse!!

  • Anonymous

    i do know that police officers are directed to park in illegal spots so that residents don’t complain that they are occupying legal ones. it comes from the top down.

    maybe other agencies have this order also.

  • Our building has private parking (just a small space — enough for two cars) and residents and contractors who use it regularly get parking tickets — despite the fact it’s clearly marked private. Maybe they just assume that people don’t have the patience or time to take off of work and fight these clearly erroneous tickets…

  • Matt

    Check out this YouTube video of a guy called Jimmy Justice in NYC. He has a ton of videos on his channel of him confronting parking enforcement for breaking their own law. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uGQoNOZSRQ

    • So cool. Thanks for the link.

  • Stretch

    Walk around Ward 1 or 2 and count how many times you spot the vehicles of Jim Graham and Jack Evans parked illegally. These guys… Sheesh.

    • I think they’re statutorily immune from parking tickets (i.e., one of the perks is you get to park anywhere, any time).

      • saf

        Only when on official business.

  • KenyonDweller

    Right, it would be so much better for her to occupy a legal spot, denying residents of its use. Really, people, don’t we have better things to get worked up about?

    • Anonymous

      Really? That’s your rationale? Not the fact that it’s blocking a driveway or against the law?

      • Ryan

        Good point. I’m a good Samaritan, so next time I drive, I too will block a driveway to avoid taking up a spot someone else might want to use.

    • dcd

      No one’s suggesting that DPW “officers” can’t park illegally when performign their official duties. That does not include grocery shopping. I’m pretty sure if I needed a 2 liter coke and a jumbo bag of Cool Ranch, and I parked there to run in real quick and get it, I’d get a ticket. Why shouldn’t the same apply to a public employee on a personal errand.

      • Anonymous

        you don’t get bathroom breaks at work?

        • Identified

          I don’t get to illegal park, blocking a drive way, when I need to use the bathroom.

          That is not official business. try another excuse.

    • More Is More

      You’re also forgetting the fact that that Giant has a private garage directly behind it. She could have parked in there.

    • Anonymous

      To do her job as parking enforcement, maybe not. To pop into the grocery store for personal business, she should have to find a legal spot like the rest of us, yes.

  • Anonymous

    I realize these folks have to put up with a lot of crap on a daily basis, but some of them are just complete assholes! Incredibly rude and nasty.

  • And it gets better! Take a look at this little nugget……


  • John

    Report it to 311 by phone or online Make sure you include the license plate #. I can’t see it very clearly, but that looks like it might be the same plate I reported for talking on a cell phone while driving a few weeks ago. Still haven’t gotten a response.

  • dcndc

    Tag # is DC6782, I posted it to DC311 on twitter this morning. Awaiting my response.

    • saf

      Please share when you hear back.

      Have you tried tweeting it to DPW?

  • Anonymous

    Ooh! PoP needs something like a “To Catch a Predator” segment! Live News Action Team!

  • Finally

    I go to that Giant all the time and there are always unattended carts parked in the middle of the aisles. I for one am happy someone finally called parking enforcement to ticket those carts!


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